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TikTok, TikTok. Is it time for B2B to embrace new channels?

  • by Chris Banner
  • 20th May 2021
    • B2B, Creative, Lead Generation, Web and Digital

The digital world seems to be throwing up something new almost every day. From TikTok to Clubhouse we’re finding more and more ways to connect with business audiences and speak to them on a more personal level. These platforms are new, they’re exciting and there’s a real opportunity to be among the first to make your mark in an entirely new way. Lots of brands are already taking advantage of this, so what are you waiting for?

Why should consumer brands have all the fun?

Nike, Red Bull and Starbucks are just a few of the businesses sitting comfortably in the top 20 most popular brands on TikTok (Feb 2021), with Red Bull already amassing 5.2 million followers. Now, I doubt anyone’s surprised to see those names reacting quickly and capitalising on such an exciting new opportunity. It’s almost expected from big brands like them. So, why does it seem so unusual for leading B2B brands to do the same?

Sage is already ‘Bossing it’ on TikTok

Last month, tech giant Sage dipped their toe into the world of TikTok by becoming the first B2B brand to run a bespoke hashtag challenge #BOSSIT2021. How did they do it? They considered their audience, identified something they could engage with and offered a £5,000 prize. That’s a tried-and-tested formula for most platforms, so there was no reason why it wouldn’t work on TikTok. And it really did, amassing nearly seven billion views.

The #BOSSIT2021 challenge itself was all about encouraging small businesses to express how they’ve been bossing it throughout the pandemic. This gave their audience a fun, simple and empowering way to share their stories and show their support for the small business community. This more audience-led approach enabled Sage to drive far more engagement than it could have ever achieved through more ‘traditional’ techniques and channels.

Be where your audience is

61% of business owners who launched their new business venture during the pandemic were aged 18 to 34, which is a demographic that’s notoriously active on TikTok. Statistics like this start to make including TikTok in your marketing mix less of an option and more of a serious consideration. Having a great story is only half of the battle, you need to make sure you’re telling it in the right places and it the right way.

Clubhouse is another platform that’s rapidly building a following with this demographic. It’s still only it’s in infancy, but with over 10 million weekly active users (December 2020) this audio-focused app is giving entrepreneurs, business-owners, investors and marketers a dynamic new way to participate in open discussions about the things they’re passionate about.

As we all know, keeping an eye on which platforms are growing in popularity with your audiences is vital to getting the right messages to the right people in the right places.

How to be tip top on TikTok

At Upp, we’re already big believers in showing the human side of your brand. This takes on even more importance on a platform like TikTok. This isn’t an audience that wants to see the sanitised version of your story. They want to see the lows as well as the highs. They want to look behind the scenes. They want content that’s real and they want the brands they engage with to be just genuine and authentic.

You’ve got to learn the language and keep up with the latest trends too. There are all sorts of topics being discussed at any given moment on TikTok, many of which could give your brand the opportunity to own a conversation that matters to your business and the wider commercial world.

Another key tip to being successful on TikTok is putting your audience first. It’s important to remember that this is less about telling the world what you want to say, and more of an opportunity to build a relationship with your audience by asking them to share their stories in a way that champions what you stand for as a business. A great way to build buy-in to your brand purpose and build brand advocacy.

The clock is ticking

As time goes by, more and more brands are embracing both established and emerging platforms. These spaces are likely to start to get busier and noisier, and when they do, it’s going to be a lot harder to make your voice heard. But by acting quickly and following in the footsteps of pioneering B2B brands like Sage, Adobe and eBay, you could add some extra impact to your marketing campaigns right now.

To find out how we can use our creativity and expertise to help your brand capitalise on emerging opportunities, please get in touch by dropping us a line to hello@uppb2b.co.uk.